Index of Buddhism-related articles
































See also

Basic points unifying Theravāda and Mahāyāna

The Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna is an important Buddhist ecumenical statement created in 1967 during the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC), where its founder Secretary-General, the late Venerable Pandita Pimbure Sorata Thera, requested the Ven. Walpola Rahula to present a concise formula for the unification of all the different Buddhist traditions. This text was then unanimously approved by the Council.


Buddhavacana in Pali and Sanskrit literally means "the Word of the Buddha". This term generally refers to literary works accepted within a particular Buddhist tradition as being the authentic teaching of the historical Buddha. Many Buddhist traditions recognize certain texts as buddhavacana which are not regarded necessarily as actual words of the historical Buddha but which are nonetheless regarded as doctrinally authentic such as the Theragāthā and Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra.

Buddhism and Jainism

Jainism and Buddhism are two ancient Indian religions that developed in Magadha (Bihar region) and continue to thrive in the modern times. Mahavira and Gautama Buddha are generally accepted as contemporaries (circa 5th century BCE). Jainism and Buddhism share many features, terminology and ethical principles, but emphasize them differently. Both are śramaṇa ascetic traditions that believe it is possible to attain liberation from the cycle of rebirths and deaths (samsara) through spiritual and ethical disciplines. They differ in some core doctrines such as those on asceticism, Middle Way versus Anekantavada, and self versus no-self (jiva, atta, anatta).

Buddhism and science

Buddhism and science have increasingly been discussed as compatible, and Buddhism has entered into the science and religion dialogue. The case is made that the philosophic and psychological teachings within Buddhism share commonalities with modern scientific and philosophic thought. For example, Buddhism encourages the impartial investigation of Nature (an activity referred to as Dhamma-Vicaya in the Pali Canon) — the principal object of study being oneself. Some popular conceptions of Buddhism connect it to discourse regarding evolution, quantum theory, and cosmology, though most scientists see a separation between the religious and metaphysical statements of Buddhism and the methodology of science. In 1993 a model deduced from Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development was published arguing that Buddhism is a fourth mode of thought beyond magic, science and religion.Buddhism has been described by some as rational and non-dogmatic, and there is evidence that this has been the case from the earliest period of its history, though some have suggested this aspect is given greater emphasis in modern times and is in part a reinterpretation. Not all forms of Buddhism eschew dogmatism, remain neutral on the subject of the supernatural, or are open to scientific discoveries. Buddhism is a varied tradition and aspects include fundamentalism, devotional traditions, and supplication to local spirits. Nevertheless, certain commonalities have been cited between scientific investigation and Buddhist thought. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, in a speech at the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, listed a "suspicion of absolutes" and a reliance on causality and empiricism as common philosophical principles shared between Buddhism and science.

Buddhism and the Roman world

Several instances of interaction between Buddhism and the Roman world are documented by Classical and early Christian writers.

Buddhism in Saudi Arabia

The International Religious Freedom Report 2007, of U.S. Department of State, estimated that more than 8 million foreigners are living and working in Saudi Arabia, including Muslims and non-Muslims.

There are 400,000 Sri Lankans, as well as a few thousand Buddhist workers from East Asia, the majority of which are: Chinese, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese. There is also a possibility that a percentage of Nepalese immigrants also help make up the estimated 8 million foreign residents in Saudi Arabia.

This amount of foreign inhabitants makes about 1.5% of Saudi Arabia's population Buddhists, or around 400,000 nominal Buddhists, most likely giving Saudi Arabia the largest Buddhist community in the Middle East or Arab World.

Buddhism in the Middle East

It is estimated that in the Middle East around 900,000 people, perhaps more, profess Buddhism as their religion. Buddhist adherents make up just over 0.3% of the total population of the Middle East. Many of these Buddhists are workers who have migrated from Asia to the Middle East in the last 20 years, many from countries that have large Buddhist populations, such as China, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. A small number of engineers, company directors, and managers from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea have also moved to the Middle East.

Buddhist councils

Since the death of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, Buddhist monastic communities have periodically convened to settle doctrinal and disciplinary disputes and to revise and correct the contents of the sutras. These gatherings, referred to by historians as 'Buddhist councils', are recorded in the Buddhist sutras as having begun immediately following the death of the Buddha and have continued into the modern era.

The number, dating, and ordering of the councils typically employed in Western academia is based primarily on Theravada historical chronicles — regional or sectarian gatherings not involving the Mahavihara Theravada lineage may be regarded as equivalent in significance by other traditions. The earliest councils — for which there is little historical evidence outside of the sutras — are regarded as canonical events by every Buddhist tradition, while some later councils have primarily been concerned only with the Theravada tradition.

Buddhist eschatology

There are two major points of Buddhist eschatology: the appearance of Maitreya and the Sermon of the Seven Suns.


Candraprabha (literally "Moonlight", Chinese: 月光菩薩; pinyin: Yuèguāng Púsà; Japanese pronunciation: Gakkō or Gekkō Bosatsu) is a bodhisattva often seen with Sūryaprabha, as the two siblings serve Bhaiṣajyaguru. Statues of Nikkō and Gakkō closely resemble each other and are commonly found together, sometimes flanking temple doors. They are also recognized in mainland Asia as devas.

Caodong school

Caodong school (Chinese: 曹洞宗; pinyin: Cáodòng zōng; Wade–Giles: Ts'ao-tung-tsung) is a Chinese Chan Buddhist sect, one of the Five Houses of Chán.

Five Strengths

The Five Strengths (Sanskrit, Pali: pañcabalāni) in Buddhism are faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. They are one of the seven sets of "qualities conducive to enlightenment." They are parallel facets of the five "spiritual faculties."

Gautama Buddha in world religions

Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is also venerated as a manifestation of God in Hinduism and the Bahá'í faith. Some Hindu texts regard Buddha as an avatar of the god Vishnu, who came to Earth to delude beings away from the Vedic religion. He is also regarded as a prophet by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

List of converts to Buddhism from Christianity

This is a list of notable converts to Buddhism from Christianity.

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas

Secular Buddhism

Secular Buddhism—sometimes also referred to as agnostic Buddhism, Buddhist agnosticism, ignostic Buddhism, atheistic Buddhism, pragmatic Buddhism, Buddhist atheism, or Buddhist secularism—is a broad term for an emerging form of Buddhism and secular spirituality that is based on humanist, skeptical, and/or agnostic values, as well as pragmatism and (often) naturalism, rather than religious (or more specifically supernatural or paranormal) beliefs.

Secular Buddhists interpret the teachings of the Buddha and the Buddhist texts in a rationalist and often evidentialist manner, considering the historical and cultural contexts of the times in which the Buddha lived and the various suttas, sutras and tantras were written.

Within the framework of secular Buddhism, Buddhist doctrine may be stripped of any unspecified combination of various traditional beliefs that could be considered superstitious, or that cannot be tested through empirical research, namely: supernatural beings (such as devas, bodhisattvas, nāgas, pretas, Buddhas, etc.), merit and its transference, rebirth, and karma, Buddhist cosmology (including the existence of pure lands and hells, ), etc.

Traditional Buddhist ethics, such as conservative views regarding abortion, and human sexuality, may or may not be called into question as well. Some schools, especially Western Buddhist ones, take more progressive stances regarding social issues.


Sūryaprabha (literally "Sunlight", Chinese: 日光菩薩; pinyin: Rìguāng Púsà; Japanese pronunciation: Nikkō Bosatsu) is a bodhisattva whose specialty is sunlight and good health. Sūryaprabha is often seen with Candraprabha, as the two siblings serve Bhaiṣajyaguru. Statues of the two closely resemble each other and are commonly found together, sometimes flanking temple doors. They are also recognized in mainland Asia as devas.

Sutta Piṭaka

The Sutta Pitaka (suttapiṭaka; or Suttanta Pitaka;

Basket of Discourse; cf Sanskrit सूत्र पिटक Sūtra Piṭaka) is the second of the three divisions of the Tripitaka or Pali Canon, the Pali collection of Buddhist writings of Theravada Buddhism. The other two parts of the Tripiṭaka are the Vinaya Piṭaka and the Abhidharma Piṭaka (Sanskrit; Pali: Abhidhamma Piṭaka). The Sutta Pitaka contains more than 10,000 suttas (teachings) attributed to the Buddha or his close companions.

The other two collections are the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Three marks of existence

In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: त्रिलक्षण, trilakṣaṇa) of all existence and beings, namely impermanence (aniccā), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā). These three characteristics are mentioned in verses 277, 278 and 279 of the Dhammapada. That humans are subject to delusion about the three marks, that this delusion results in suffering, and that removal of that delusion results in the end of suffering, is a central theme in the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.

According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the three seals are impermanence, non-self and nirvana. He says in "The heart of the Buddha's Teaching" that "In several sutras the Buddha taught that nirvana, the joy of completely extinguishing our ideas and concepts, rather than suffering, is one of the Three Dharma Seals."

Topics in Buddhism
The Buddha
Key concepts
Major figures


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